Archive for the ‘Challenge’ Category

Gaming My Life: The Game-A-Day Challenge

My wife is challenging herself to create or play a new game everyday for a month and to blog about it. Check it out. So far she has made some really interesting and creative games.

http://www.gamingmylife.com/

Day 14: Julie Creates "Chick Flick" the Game

Day 14: Julie Creates "Chick Flick" the Board Game

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How To Make Great French Toast

This is the first item I am crossing off my 101 goals in 1001 days list. I really liked my French Toast experience, and I am happy to recommend it. Here are my tips for doing it right (based on my vast experience (of cooking it once)):

  • Follow Alton Brown’s Recipe. I thought it was exceptionally tasty and very easy, even for a novice like I am.
  • Use a loaf of Challah bread. If the loaf has raisins, then even better.
  • When slicing the loaf make straight cuts. This allows the whole slice to make even contact with the pan.
  • Cut the slices a few hours before you need them, and leave them out. This helps them dry out and lets them firm up a bit.
  • Don’t heat the honey for 20 seconds. This is dangerously long. Five or eight seconds should be fine.
  • Add cinnamon and a little vanilla extract to the egg mixture.
  • Use fresh eggs that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. (No, you won’t taste any difference, but they are better for your health and your soul.)
  • Keep the heat on medium low, NOT medium. Otherwise they will brown or burn too quickly without the middle cooking.
  • I didn’t try it this time, but I bet that some cooked bananas, apples, or peaches would be an excellent addition to this meal.
  • The oven serves dual purpose of finishing the cooking process and holding the pieces till they are ready to be eaten. So, don’t skip this step.

Good luck and bon appetite!

Challenge: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

goals101 Goals in 1001 Days is such a great idea, I just cannot resist it.

This challenge is to prepare a list of 101 things you would like to do in the next 1001 days. You can choose to start the list today or work on your list and start in the next week. This site is the originator of the idea and the rules:

Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Here are some other people doing this challenge. Have a look at their lists to get some ideas.

http://magiccookie.blogspot.com/2004/12/101-things-in-1001-days.html
http://www.englishmajor.com/101.html
http://101in1001.blogspot.com/
http://www.workingwith.me.uk/blog/personal/101_in_1001/101_goals_in_1001_days

I am creating a page to track my goals and I will post different challenges and results as I go. Now, that I am back from my honeymoon in Greece, and my honey is back in school and spending a lot of her time doing schoolwork, I will have some free time to focus on personal development projects (and maybe doing more posts here too).

Also, tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I’m not Jewish, but I figure this is a perfect time for new resolutions. This holiday is not about drinking, but about self-reflection and self-improvement.

Challenge #14: Trade Your Old Books for New Books

Books!Let’s face it. We all have lots of books on our bookshelves that we aren’t going to read, but we are still inexplicably unwilling to part with them. Here is one solution that can free you from this clutter: Use a book swapping site to offer them up to other people who want to read them.

One reason we don’t want to part with them is because they still have perceived value to us. However, if we can pass that value onto someone else and get something in return, then the equation completely changes. Then we can be free from the tyranny of our old clutter.

Your challenge is to take the first steps to get rid of the surplus books on your bookshelf.

Here are a bunch of options for parting with old books or trading them for new books.

I just joined one of the sites mentioned in the above link. (The one I joined is called Bookins and here is a referral link if you are interested.)

3 Reasons to Complete Personal Challenges

GoalsWhat I like best about assigning yourself challenges is:

1) They are a surprising learning opportunity

Changing your habits of TV/Exercise/Sleep/Cleaning/e.t.c., sheds a big light on your relationship with those habits. If you want to know how you use the letter “b” in your writing, try using the letter twice as much or try writing without it. If you want to know the impact that TV has on your life, try giving it up.

2) They are a gateway to continued good habits

When you exercise everyday for one month. It is almost effortless to exercise a several times a week the following month.

3) They teach you how to integrate good habits into your life

Logistics are a big stumbling block to adopting good habits. For example, sometimes the hardest part of exercising is figuring out when to do it, where to shower, how to pack a bag, and how to handle laundry. When you force yourself to exercise, you also force yourself to solve and practice all the logistics involved.

Challenge #13: Adopt an Early-to-Bed Early-to-Rise Sleep Schedule

Sleep! For this challenge, we will adopt a fixed sleep schedule. We will give ourselves a mandatory bed time and a mandatory wake up time. Here are the rules:

  • As you begin, pick a sleep schedule. You can pick different schedules for different days of the week. Adhere to the schedule that you pick. Remeber that your body might appreciate having the same times each day.
  • Be realistic about the number of hours of sleep you need each night.
  • Choose bed times for Friday and Saturday night that are consistent with the social life you desire.
  • You can’t use the snooze button on your alarm and you can’t stay in bed past your wake up time.
  • You can choose how many weeks to do this challenge for. I am trying it for two.

Here are two articles (both from the same source) that might help with establishing an early wake up time: Waking up Early and Consistently,
Waking Up Early – 15 Tips That Work
.

Don’t forget, the easiest way to wake up early is to go to sleep early.

Personal Challenge #12: Five a Day for Good Health

Fruits and Veggies.My fiancee has offered the next personal challenge: To eat a total of five servings of fruits and vegatables each day. She is planning on doing this for a whole month, but the challenge is only for two weeks. We are hoping that eating more good food will fill us up and leave less room for junk food. With our wedding rapidly approaching, maybe we will be heathier and fitter for our big day too.

We can still eat chocolate and ice cream. She hasn’t gone completely crazy.

Personal Challenge Recap

Managing GoalsHere is a recap of challenges that have been posted on this site in the last month.

I’ve finished most of the first half, and most of the second half is in progress or wrapping up. You can join pick any ones you like and join in anytime.

Challenge #9: Now We Never Need to Clean Again?

[Need to Clean]Wow, I was naive about this clean for a week challenge! I did use my egg timer. I did do good things. However, the time spent cleaning made such a tiny dent in the things that I wanted to address.

After this week, I have a better understanding of the problem, which is this: There is maintenance cleaning and there is deep cleaning.

Maintenance Cleaning
Maintenance cleaning is the laundry, dishwashing, incoming mail, vacuuming, garbage, and recycling. Yet, all this stuff can easily take up those 15 minutes a day. So, after following this challenge for a week (or a month, or a year), you are no closer to where you want to be. The original challenge wasn’t supposed to be about this stuff.

Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning means dealing with all that stuff in your various junk drawers, all that stuff in piles or boxes, all that stuff that you don’t know what to do with. After you take care of this stuff, your life becomes simpler and happier. The physical clutter is hidden in the back of a closet is manifested as clutter that you carry in the back of your head.

Updated Challenge
I am extending this challenge for two more weeks and I am adding a new rule. The new rule is that you have to spend at least half of your time doing non-maintenance cleaning.

Remember, organizing isn’t import because it helps you find your stuff. Organizing is important because it helps you find your peace. (I just made that up. It sounds famous. Doesn’t it?)

Completing Challenge #8: Learn to Play a New Song

A GuitarThis musical challenge has a surprise ending, just like the “I see dead people” movie and the “guy crying in the bathtub” movie. To compete this challenge you need to perform the song that you just learned this week for someone else.

If you need chord charts or lyrics for the performance, I suppose that is OK. If you are really dreading this, your alternate option is to perform this song for yourself by making a recording of it.

Me? I’ll be playing a Damien Rice song for my fiancee. I don’t like performing, but I am crazy about her.